Memorable Eat-outs in Hyderabad

Hey everyone, apologies for having been missing in action but well, I am back with something fun and exciting!!!

As work takes me to Hyderabad multiple times-I thought why not share with you all some of my favourite meals and places you must check out when in Hyderabad next! Trust me, the food in the city wouldn’t disappoint you even a bit! So in no particular order, here are few of my recommendations…

1. The Food Court at Ikea,Gachibowli- Well, I was damn hungry so the meal here was a good respite. This makes it to my list for the different experience it offered and is worth exploring specially when you have had a hard day shopping!!!IMG_2468

2. Fab Cafe, Banjara Hills-Hyderabad is also lucky to house this gem! I absolutely loved their twist to the mainline dishes. My favourites here include the Tri-Grain Papdi Chaat Medley, Spicy Sprout Filled Golgappa and Chocolate Cake.A5AB1F79-60E8-47DC-AC89-AAA0F1FF2FEA (1)

3. The Glass Onion, Boulder Hills Golf & Country Club, Gachibowli- Truthfully, I have never really had a bad meal here. Each time around, the taste and presentation have been on point. While evenings here are amazing with the golf course in the backdrop, the Sunday Brunch is equally fun and leaves you with much to choose from! On a regular day, I would definitely order the Quinoa Avocado Chaat and Broccoli Cheese Kebab!

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4. Ulavacharu, Jubilee Hills & Gachibowli– It serves authentic South Indian Telugu cuisine and is a good place to taste the local food. However, to be honest I have had both good and ordinary experiences here but the reason for that I blame on poor ordering. So, be very clear with what you want and they would be happy to help!

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5. Exotica, Banjara Hills- I absolutely love their Mughlai and North Indian food. Their Roti Pe Boti and Galouti Kebab are absolutely divine. For me they are among the best for North Indian food in Hyderabad! And to add to that, the ambience of the place is pleasant and soothing!
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6. Sante Spa Cuisine, Jubilee Hills– The food here is made with healthy ingredients without compromising on the taste factor. And for someone like me who is quite conscious of my food intake, a healthy eat-out option is absolutely a great idea!!! Their Valrhona Chocolate Pie with an oat flour base was absolutely heavenly so much so that we ordered it twice and so were the Thai Spiced Fish Cakes!

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7. The Fisherman’s Wharf- Well, this place absolutely has my heart. Ask me why? One of the major reasons is that it quickly disconnects you from the city life and that itself is a super reason to keep visiting this place. Their food and drinks are worthwhile as well but trust me, the vibe of the place pretty much takes you to Goa in no time!

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8. Feast, Sheraton Hotel, Gachibowli- It totally lives up to its name and makes for a memorable feast. The Sunday Brunch is absolutely worth visiting. Take my pro tip, have a light breakfast and then, have a meal to remember and let it be stretched outing!

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9. Yi Jing, ITC Kohenur, Madhapur- This is another top favourite of mine and no matter how many times I have been here, each time around the experience has only been better than before. We swear by Chef Shloke Chhabra’s recommendations and he does not disappoint ever! If you are on a look-out for a quality Chinese meal, this is it!

Here’s wishing you the best meals and experiences in Hyderabad and I look forward to sharing much more with you all!

Love,
Sonali

Time for Tea Party!

Hey, while it is the best time to be on a vacation right now but there is never really a bad time to have friends and family over, right?

So for those like me who have weekdays packed with work, sometimes hosting lunches or late evening plans may seem tough but I truly reckon the new age way to party is to organize fun and tasteful tea parties. Trust me when I say this that I feel people are still not so exhausted to meet in the evening, it doesn’t require so much effort and you are pretty much going to find this concept as a breath of fresh air.

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Yes, even the present generation can have fun at tea time. So, here are some tips to help you plan your ultimate tea party-

  1. Colour Theme- I always like my main table done up really well so we could fill up our vases with nice flowers- go for pink and white or yellow and white. Else, you could stick to pastels. Make sure some basics like napkins, plates and the like are in line with your colour theme.
  2. The Tea- Make sure you have a variety on offer. Don’t forget that Tea has to be the highlight and why not? There are just so many variations available. However, do not serve something you have not tried before, please! So there must be a house favourite which should be pouring. Then lay out the rest for the guests to try-out and to involve them, this could make for a perfect “DIY” activity. Also, keep the essential ingredients readily available such as Milk, sugar, honey and lemon. When in India- Masala Tea be a hot favourite. Another favourite of mine which got to make the list is the Chamomile Tea. What would be helpful would be to display the Tea Menu!

    Also, you could offer some cooler versions like Iced Tea on the menu as well.

  3. Food Factor- Like any party, you can’t ditch or ignore this aspect even a bit! Here are some of our recommendations:

    -Scones with Nice Berry Toppings and Whipped Cream OR a Pastry Platter
    -Mushroom Quiche
    -Finger Sandwiches (these are done well at most homes)
    -Cookies (a variety here would sure win hearts)
    -Cake (we absolutely love the Victorian Vanilla Cake from The Daily Gourmet and we usually add some Orange Marmalade to it)
    -Chocolate Muffins (again think no more and use the ones from The Daily Gourmet as they are so easy to make)
    -Fries (everyone loves them no matter what the age)
    -Cheese & Crackers
    -Fruit Platter
    -Last but not the least, no Indian Tea party is ever complete without Samosas so this is a definite winner always!

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  4. Dress Code- Well why not? How about nice floral dresses with hats? In case you feel that is a little over the top for you then how about everyone dressing up in white?
  5. Value Additions- Soft Music is a good idea and you can have some tarts or muffins as giveaways for all! And keeping some games which can be played as guests sip on their tea is a fabulous idea.

Pro Tip: There would be lots of used tea bags- make sure you station a small bin to dump them. And, warm water must be available throughout!

ON GRATITUDE

Today, I am getting back to writing for my #LoveLife series and would like to share about the concept/attitude of gratitude.

I have to say it first up, having a heart of gratitude is having the key to a happy life. Over the years, I have realized that most of us have this tendency of focusing on things we do not have. For instance, seeing the glass half empty instead of seeing it half full. However, if the focus changes to what we have or who I am- it truly can become a game changer! We shall wake up each morning feeling genuinely grateful for the little things such as the delicious home-cooked dinner we had last evening or the amazing weather in the morning or even looking forward to dressing up for work or most importantly, feeling healthy!

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A heart of gratitude is truly an enriched and beautiful heart for it appreciates and celebrates life. And trust me, everyone loves to be around people who appreciate and are grateful. With gratitude being our foremost attitude not only do we feel good but instead we uplift the spirits of another life too! For instance, it maybe routine for mother to cook, but try and compliment her for the meal and see the big smile on her face!

Also, I feel gratitude reduces the room for complain for you try and look at the good or positive in every challenging situation as well.

Lastly, I would say always be grateful for this life, our families and friends, the person we have become and are becoming and cherishing each and every necessity of life we have been blessed with from our home where we live to the clothes we wear!

Having said this, celebrate the little things in life and you would realize that you are celebrating ever so often. Share your celebrations, involve others in your celebrations, make them feel a part of being the reason itself to celebrate. Also, always have gratitude for the things you wished to own one day and with your hard work have been able to!!!

For me, my heart wells up with joy and happiness each time I think about the trips I have made and I can’t be grateful enough for those plans having become a reality!

P.S. I have and shall continue to have gratitude for all my dreams getting fulfilled. And writing this makes me realize how about some gratitude for having the will and courage to dream itself?

Best,
Sonali

Hyderabad-it doesn’t get greener and prettier than this!

Well whether you’re a local or a tourist or visiting for a business meeting- when in Hyderabad besides gorging on Biryani or experiencing the Ramoji Film City or visiting the Charminar or for that matter shopping at Ikea- you must make time to visit the Boulder Hills Golf & Country Club!

The 18-hole championship golf course has been designed by Peter Harradine and truly has it all to challenge a golfer and for the rest, it is a beauty like no other!

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And you need not stress about bringing your own equipment, the club is well stocked to offer a variety on rental and their very friendly panel of coaches shall make your golf lesson extremely fun! Taking to golf has a plethora of advantages- you meet an excellent profile of people, invest in a sport that you can pretty much play for life, spend enough time amidst nature and the list can go on!

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The weekends at the course are extremely busy so make sure your book your tee time or lesson in advance! Also, when at BHGCC- do grab a seat at their cafe which is pool facing and gives you a jaw-dropping view of the golf course and order some tasteful snacks!

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In fact, Boulder Hills is a lot more than a great golf course. It offers venues for your special occasions, whether it is a wedding or a proposal or even a corporate day-out, discuss with them and see them going all out to ensure the delivery is top-class!

Having mentioned about the swimming pool already, the club is also equipped with   squash court and gymnasium facilities.

Now, wait no more and gift yourself an experience like no other!

Pictures Courtesy: Boulder Hills Golf & Country Club

Club Address: Opposite Indian School Business, Beside Infosys, ISB Road, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, Telangana 500032

On Top Fashion Gear with Avnni Kapur

Well, truthfully you can’t ever really have an overdoze of weddings considering quite a few celebs got married lately but fact is that the wedding season is on and the charm and beauty of a bride or the excitement of the groom are sights which seldom go out of demand so to say.

Weddings are beautiful, no matter how simple or lavish they maybe- weddings are just beautiful. And the most talked about are the brides at these weddings (sorry guys but guess you know it too). Also, we reckon the looks for the pre-wedding day celebrations are rather important as they let you truly experience and create a build-up to the big day!

So, since it is the wedding season and we want our brides to look their gorgeous selves- we got talking with one of our favourite designers from Delhi. Well, not that she just has a youthful take on design herself but her clothes are unique, colourful and playful. And I must add that every time I visit Avnni Kapur’s store- I am always pleasantly surprised by something or the other for the pieces wouldn’t be very routine.

When asked about the Mehendi celebrations, she said, “A trend that is hitting this season for Mehendi is the mid-length skirt and crop top which is comfortable and allows the wearer to show their beautiful Mehendi designs. What is more is that it is practical and very easy to carry. People are also trying to experiment with more vivid and vibrant colours, therefore no greens.” Further commenting on the hues for Mehendi, the designer said that to feel and look different, she would recommend trying colours like lilac, shades and tints of bright blues, or maybe even corals.

And with the hits, you also got to know the other side. Avnni said,” A complete no-no for Mehendi will be over-accessorizing with Jewellery, a little bling is what is needed but do not go overboard with it. Also, a no-no to Churidars please.”

And no such celebrations are going to be complete without the bride’s squad. Yes, we are talking about our bridesmaids. Avnni suggested, “The bridesmaids can always opt for something simpler like dhotis, crop-tops and skirts or maybe a jacket with cigarette pants and can have that element of co-ordination with matching dupattas, maang tikkas or even same colour skirts.”

And the most action-packed function has to be the Cocktail night! The designer said,”The brides of today are keen on having an Indo-western look for their Cocktail with stylish cuts. They also prefer unique drapes, unconventional tops or even long capes. Keeping it traditional yet modern is the way for the brides of 2018-19.” We do agree with our ace designer, don’t we?

Lastly, do check out the fabulous work of our designer-

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On Happiness

Today, I am starting a new #LoveLife series and first up would like to briefly throw light on an aspect which we all strive for, i.e., happiness! We all want to be happy. However, the concept of happiness with time and over the years, I have realized truly is much more deeper than just momentary satisfactions which are also important but rather temporary.

Essentially, happiness should not be equated with arrogance or ignorance. Many people despite several on-going challenges choose to still face it all with a smile. Hence, if they are choosing to be happy- it does not mean (at least in most cases) that they are cutting-off from the realities of every day life. In my opinion, it truly means that they value life and are doing all that it takes to work towards better times not ignoring TODAY.

It is important to value our today, make the most of today! Without being too philosophical- I feel if we cannot fully savour today, tomorrow we may have many more material possessions that we aspired for- but we may still not be able to be happy. Guessing why? Maybe because aspirations and expectations have further gone a notch higher.

Lastly, love your life and respect each one that comes in the orbit of your life. Set your own goals and learn from others. We truly gain nothing comparing ourselves with others as mostly it has more negative repercussions than not. And something that I have been telling a lot of my friends-like they say do not judge a book by its cover- do not judge a person by what you see for each one is fighting their own battle deep within each day and each moment. If someone is happy- be happy for them, sometimes it is this mini gesture that can give you a reason to be happy on one of your dull days!

Best,
Sonali

Perks of staying in Pratunam, Bangkok

Well, with the airport less than an hour away, there sure are some fancy perks of staying in the bustling Pratunam area of Bangkok.
 
Talking from experience, I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay at hotels in Pratunam on each of my trips besides the times I have stayed with my friends at their residence in Sukhumvit.

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Be on a Shopping Spree:
 
There is never a dull moment especially when you are staying in this area. During the day, no matter how much time you spend- you shall still be left wanting for more at the Platinum Fashion Mall. What’s more is that a newer building of the mall has been developed as well. 
From clothes to bags to shoes to accessories to beauty products-this one is an absolute haven for girls and from the point of convenience- there is a floor where you can leave behind the love of your life or even better if he is not accompanying you, then take back something for him from that floor.

One of my personal favourite shops is the Pink Pvssy for their gorgeous and stylish clutches.
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Handy Hacks for the Platinum Fashion Mall:
 
1. If there is anything particular you have in mind- seek their Help Desk and they give you the exact shop numbers dealing with the requested category of products.
 
2. Their food court is a must visit, there are ample choices and you would get a very affordable meal.
 
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3. Carry a big empty bag as you land up shopping enough to stress your arms and hands- a bag with wheels would be a true blessing.
 
And, for the tech-savy, just few steps away is the Pantip Plaza.
As you step out of the Mall, do grab a slice of Pizza at Crispy Pizza or a Japanese Soft Serve at  Demi Concept or how about some Mango Sticky Rice?
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Some of the other malls not too far would be:
 
Almost a 10 minutes ride away would be the very well known MBK Mall and then not too far from MBK are the Siam Malls for all the branded shopping.
And must mention my current favourite- Central World.
 
And, as the sun sets down- the streets of Pratinum also liven up further with the night markets. My recent most discovery was the Neon Night Market- it was quite fun and casual.
 
However, a market I truly recommend for the evening would be Asiatique The Riverfront  which though would be about half an hour away from Pratunam but would be totally worth the visitThere are plenty of shops, amazing restaurants by the river, live entertainment and there is just this fabulous festivity in the air.
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Hotels at Pratunam, My picks would be:

 –Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel- you would love their breakfast and land up clicking umpteen pictures here for sure!
 
The Berkeley Hotel-the room size is a complete luxury and we thoroughly relished all the dishes we ordered in our rooms. The location for me was perfect.
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When looking for hotels, make sure you cross-check that it is not too in the interiors or isolated as then you would be far-off from the action. 
 
Binging Big:

Just about five minutes away from the Platinum Mall is this cute place called Hungry Nerd. From their pasta to their burgers- I have always loved everything here.
Another favourite place in this area which we love for desserts is the  B Story Cafe.
 

Hope this information comes handy and connectivity isn’t really an issue with Grab, regular cabs, tuk-tuk and so on.

 
Wishing you an ever amazing trip to Thailand!
xoxo,
Sonali